‘City of Tshwane on brink of another poor A-G report’

A City of Tshwane council sitting. File

A City of Tshwane council sitting. File

Published Mar 1, 2024


Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink has been accused of sitting on an Auditor-General report for the 2022/2023 financial year with a generally negative financial performance on the part of the municipality.

It was during yesterday’s ordinary council sitting at Tshwane House, that the mayor hinted that the municipality was likely to incur almost a similar adverse audit outcome it obtained last year.

Brink said: “We expect the findings of the audit of the financial year ending June 2023 at the end of this week. As I said in the State of the City address in May 2023 following the adverse audit that the city received for 2022, it would not be possible for the City to obtain an unqualified or clean audit shortly after this adverse audit. The extent of the findings of the AG was just too extensive to jump from adverse to unqualified or clean.”

He said the City’s response to AG’s audit report meant it had to “put in place systems and controls which in the past had either broken down or didn't exist”.

“The most immediate effect of these systems and controls is that the money is spent slower. That is not the intention; the intention is to ensure value for money (that) invoices aren’t paid for work that is not done. This can’t be an excuse forever, but it is certainly part of responding to the AG’s findings,” he said.

He told the House that the biggest picture was that the country as a whole was in a fiscal crisis.

“We have got an enormous national budget deficit caused by Eskom; by improved salary increases in the national and provincial governments, which could not be afforded. And the pressure on local government, not just on Tshwane, but all local governments, is immense,” Brink said.

In reaction to his remarks, ANC chief whip in council, Aaron Maluleka. accused him of jumping the gun by talking to a report that was not part of yesterday’s council agenda.

“What the mayor wants to do is to pre-empt the outcome and look good in the public that he has spoken about the (audit report’s) negative outcome. The report (is there); he has received it. He is keeping it secretively, but it is not for consumption of this council meeting. And therefore, he should not speak about that report outcome,” he said.

Last year, the City had to ask for an extension to submit financial statements to the AG after it failed to meet an August 31 deadline to do so.

The extension, according to the City, was sought to avoid the repeat of 2021/2022 financial year when it incurred adverse audit opinion.

The 2021/2022 AG report found that the City had not correctly valued assets relating to electricity, roads, and stormwater infrastructure assets, as well as community in accordance with the standards of generally recognised accounting practice, among other financial transgressions.

Former chief financial officer, Umar Banda, was blamed for misrepresenting the City's 2021/2022 financial statements to the AG.

Banda was subsequently fired and his bid to overturn the dismissal at the High Court, Pretoria, in December was unsuccessful.

Pretoria News

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